July 25, 2013

Robbery, home invasion leads to arrest of 5 in Waterville

Three men, one minor raided College Avenue apartment, took money stolen from convenience store earlier today, police say; suspect in earlier theft also arrested

By Rachel Ohm rohm@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

WATERVILLE — Four people charged with robbery, burglary and theft told police that they thought they could steal $1,200 from an apartment where they believed the occupants to be high on oxycodone, according to an affidavit.

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Melvin Hubbard

Contributed photo

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Alec Bryan

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Alec Bryan, 22, of Waterville; Gage Wells, 19, of Waterville; and Gilbert Barrows, 19, of Belgrade, were arraigned Wednesday in Waterville District Court. A juvenile who also faces charges was released to his parents Tuesday.

The three men entered no pleas but said they were aware of their rights and the charges against them.

According to an affidavit, Wells told police he had learned of a robbery at the Cumberland Farms store on College Avenue from his friend Gilbert Barrows and that the two discussed taking the money from the house where Melvin Hubbard was staying. Hubbard, who later admitted to police that he had stolen $1,245 from Cumberland Farms, had taken the money earlier that day and police were still searching for him when his apartment was broken into.

A friend of Hubbard’s who had been at the house that day told Barrows that he saw the money and that Hubbard and others in the house were high on oxycodone, according to the affidavit. The men also reported seeing a red truck parked outside the apartment that they thought was there for an oxycodone deal and, believing the occupants of the apartment were high on drugs, thought they could “walk right over there and take (the money) because everyone was doped out of it,” according to the affidavit.

The plan backfired when police arrived as the men were searching the house for the money.

Sgt. Brian Gardiner, of the Waterville Police Department, said there have been no drug-related arrests in the incident. He said he was unsure whether any drugs were found in the apartment at 83 College Ave.

On Tuesday afternoon Barrows, Bryan, Wells and the juvenile went to scope out the building and plan an exit for after the robbery, according to the affidavit.

Around 5:15 p.m. they broke into the house by kicking in the door and, once inside, told everyone to empty their pockets and hand over their wallets and cellphones. They searched a man in the apartment, took a knife from him and stole about $90 worth of DVDs, which police found in the bushes outside the apartment. The men were searching the apartment for the stolen money when they heard police knock on the door, and they escaped through a kitchen window, according to the affidavit.

Hubbard also ran from the residence, but police caught him and charged him for the theft earlier in the day. He admitted stealing the money from Cumberland Farms, according to the affidavit.

Hubbard, 18, of Waterville, has been charged with theft by unauthorized taking or transfer and was also arraigned Wednesday. He entered no plea.

According to an affidavit, Hubbard entered the Cumberland Farms store around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The store clerk, Elizabeth Lawson, said Hubbard was a frequent customer at the store and that she knew him by name, according to the affidavit. He had come into the store earlier that night with a girl named Aaliyah, and she followed him into the store later that night along with a girl named Ashlyn in the report.

The affidavit says Ashlyn spilled a jar of spaghetti sauce and that while Lawson was cleaning it up, Hubbard went behind the cashier’s counter, lifted the top off a safe and removed a plastic bag with $1,245 in it, according to the affidavit.

He fled the store, but the robbery was captured on store surveillance tapes, police said.

Gardiner said no charges were filed against the two girls who were with Hubbard in the store.

Hubbard is charged with class C theft and is being held in lieu of $2,000 cash bail or $500 with a pre-trial services contract. Class C theft is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Barrows, Bryan and Wells were each charged with class B burglary, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine; two counts of class A robbery, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine; and class E theft, punishable by up to six months in prison and a $1,000 fine.

Barrows and Bryan are being held in lieu of $10,000 cash bail or $1,000 with a pre-trial services contract. Wells is being held without bail because of an unpaid fine on a previous conviction and probation violation for a February theft.

The next court appearance for all four is scheduled for 10 a.m. Sept. 10 in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Information about the ages and hometowns of some of the accused was incorrect in a previous article.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368
rohm@mainetoday.com

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Additional Photos

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Gage Wells

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Gilbert Barrows

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